There was a time when time was limited and there was much to see, I’d descend on a city with a vengeance, determined to see everything, too fast, too soon. Then, as an incentive to get over that fatigue, I’d travel again. It was that easy. Those were the days my friends…
Now that rush and yearning to get to a new place is a trending hashtag called #revengetourism. I am a week shy of embarking on a well-deserved holiday to overcome my lockdown fatigue, and I hope that travellers I bump into will be following safety protocols. The question on the top of my mind is whether I am taking enough precautions — besides, of course, swapping the camaraderie of a hostel for a properly sanitised hotel and travelling after the Eid holiday rush.
The news from some countries is disturbing — like, say, India which has seen some harsh lockdowns, but now hill stations, beaches and forest retreats are flooded with tourists trying to make up for lost time. Countries like Georgia and Armenia are welcoming tourists with open arms, and experts are worried about the rising R-factor, a measure that indicates the speed of infection — in this case Covid-19, a direct outcome of revenge travel.
Travel. But responsibly
Dubai-based business owner of Al Thika Packaging Tim Ansell, currently holidaying in Zanzibar, decided to ‘break free’ like Zanzibar icon Freddie Mercury famous crooned, because a break was much needed after spending a stressful Covid period. “Running a business under Covid conditions has been incredibly stressful. With no access to our large markets in Saudi, Kuwait or Oman, being unable to travel to Europe to meet suppliers, customers delaying contracts due to uncertainty and several staff infected with Covid over the last 18 months (mercifully, they came through unscathed) — my mental reserves were at an all-time low. So, this break is, I believed, well-deserved.”
Ansell adds that not being able to return home to the UK for so long was the clincher. Therefore, when the situation improved, they decided to wing it, with all precautions in place. “Zanzibar was carefully selected for various reasons. Topping that list was, of course, a long-held desire [to visit] followed by a relaxing beach holiday. We are fully vaccinated too, and Zanzibar has had a low Covid outbreak. All things considered, one deserves a break, but it pays to bear in mind there is still a pandemic out there, so caution is essential.”